Community Colleges Partner with Local Employers to Train Workers for In-Demand Careers
San Diego’s job market continues to expand, creating opportunities for local businesses across various growing industries. Job sectors with the greatest need for workers include advanced manufacturing, software, engineering, health care, life sciences, and business. The career opportunities within these sectors are vast and offer good-paying, high-demand “middle-skill” jobs that require more education than a high school diploma but less than a four-year degree. These jobs are projected to make up just under half of all available jobs in San Diego County and Imperial Counties, accounting for 1.6 million jobs by 2022.
Businesses in the region are struggling to hire employees in these sectors, with upwards of 88% of the top middle-skill jobs experiencing supply gaps that could be met by community college-trained workers. Many of these careers can be trained for in as little as two years and provide a median salary of $55,536 in San Diego County and $45,968 in Imperial County.
Training the local workforce for these quality job opportunities is crucial to economic success and requires long-term, cross-sector partnerships. Our 10 regional colleges are working with Advancing San Diego to match eligible workers with high-demand jobs and provide job training opportunities. Advancing San Diego champions holistic, long-term partnerships to address talent shortages, remove barriers to affordable education, and provide lifelong living wage employment. The program brings together a dynamic collection of employers, educators, and workforce development agencies to inform skills-based training programs and provide work-based learning opportunities. Through Advancing San Diego, our faculty partner with local employers to identify skill gaps that can be addressed through Career Education programs and provide work-based learning opportunities that pair students with local companies.
Four community colleges within the San Diego and Imperial County Community College Association (SDICCCA) have been designated Preferred Providers of skilled talent, providing a curriculum that meets employer needs and serves a diverse student population. Curriculum in Preferred Provider courses is created in collaboration with employers, considering the skills needed to succeed in each industry and work environment and create a qualified talent pipeline. Career Education programs through Preferred Providers are an accessible way for diverse student populations to attain lifelong, living-wage employment.
Our Employer and Industry Partner page recently relaunched, showcasing student success stories, faculty interviews, business needs assessments, and opportunities for employers to get involved. For more information, check out the article links below.
This article highlights the experience of San Diego Mesa College student Emma Plum who applied her skills and education at Traits AI, a San Diego-based software company that creates animated artificial intelligence (AI) avatars.
Michael Paulding, Chair of Computer Science at MiraCosta College, elaborates on creating an engaging learning environment to teach students in-demand skills in classrooms and labs that mirror the workplace.
Community colleges partnering with employers, economic and workforce development agencies create career opportunities for SDICCCA’s diverse student body.
Dr. Daniel Ortiz, Simulations Coordinator and Assistant Professor of Nursing at Imperial Valley College, discusses employer partnerships and preparing nursing students for real world challenges including the coronavirus pandemic.
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